The 5 Spot, 1006 Forrest Ave., one of East Nashville’s most popular music venues, will begin requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry, beginning Saturday.
Additionally, bands and performers will be required to provide a proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test (taken within 72 hours) in order to perform. The 5 Spot is the first venue in East Nashville to announce such a requirement.
“We are going to go out a little bit ahead of the curve now,” said co-owner Travis Collinsworth. “We have had enough close calls and scares over the last couple weeks.”
The announcement came today, shortly following Mayor John Cooper’s announcement that face coverings will be required inside Metro buildings, beginning Thursday. There were 2,718 active COVID-19 cases in Davidson County today, compared with 444 one month ago, the Mayor’s office said in a press release.
Collinsworth said The 5 Spot staff began discussing a vaccination requirement on Monday. That same day, The 5 Spot posted an image on Instagram, pleading, “Please get vaccinated, and stay home until you do,” but there was not yet an official policy in place. “For our staff, our staff’s kids, and our whole community… get vaccinated. Thank you,” the post stated.
The 5 Spot has been proactive in its measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. It closed its doors early last year, before it was required by Metro to do so, and held off on a return to in-person shows — pivoting to live-streamed concerts with high production value — until finally reopening in June.
Discussions regarding a vaccination requirement are said to be underway among other Nashville venues. City Winery Nashville announced on Tuesday that proof of a COVID-19 vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test will be required for entry, and face coverings will be required indoors when moving about the building.
The 5 Spot staff are vaccinated and will be required to wear face coverings, Collinsworth said. However, face coverings will only be recommended for guests. “We have no way to enforce (a mask requirement),” he said.
“This is a highly personal decision,” Collinsworth said. “I would never put pressure on anyone or call anyone out for not agreeing with what we’re doing… we are just going to be doing what we think we need to do to protect ourselves and our staff.”